Even as the NFL inched closer to a labor shutdown that could threaten the 2011 season, the Eagles were taking care of business yesterday.
The team announced that quarterback Michael Vick has signed his exclusive franchise tender, which guarantees Vick at least $16 million this season, if there is a season. The Eagles also tendered some prospective restricted free agents, linebacker Stewart Bradley (second-round level), guard Max Jean-Gilles (fourth-round level), and cornerback Dimitri Patterson (no compensation owed), along with an exclusive-rights free agent, running back Eldra Buckley.
The Eagles and the rest of the league are tendering under the assumption that last year's restricted free agency still holds; the threshold went from 4 to 6 years, and is unlikely to stay that high under a new agreement, whenever there is one. The team has until 3 p.m. today to issue the tenders, so the Eagles haven't necessarily decided not to tender, say, punter Sav Rocca, running back Jerome Harrison, or linebacker Akeem Jordan. And of course, tendering them or not tendering them might not mean anything in a new CBA.
Kicker David Akers, meanwhile, definitely will not be signing his transition tender, agent Jerrold Colton said. The reason is simple: from a player's perspective, just about the only good thing about the transition tag is that it allows a player to go out and get offers from other teams, which the tagging team can then decide whether to match. There has been no free agency, and Akers hasn't been to the market. If he ends up playing under the transition tag - which, again, might not even exist under a new CBA - he will make about $2.9 million this season.